Florida home sales improve in April

by Andrew Morrell

Home sales in the Miami area and throughout Florida rebounded decisively in April after a sluggish start to the year, based on new data released by the Florida Realtors association May 21.

In the Miami metro area spanning across Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, single-family home sales grew at an annual rate of 5.5 percent, finishing April with 4,520 closed transactions. The median price on those sales was $355,000, just 1.4 percent above April 2018 levels. Statewide, Florida home sales grew 6.2 percent year-over-year, ending the month with nearly 27,000 closed transactions.

“Still-low mortgage interest rates and a strong jobs outlook are positive trends for Florida’s housing market,” said 2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain of Illustrated Properties in Palm Beach. Pending home sales also grew by 4.4 percent, Sain explained, hinting at a robust market in the months to come.

Local and statewide sales outperformed the national figures for April released by the National Association of Realtors. Looking at the entire U.S. existing-home market, sales in April came in 0.4 percent lower than the prior month and 4.4 percent lower year-over-year. NAR President John Smaby said local trends in markets like Florida have fueled the association’s expectation that nationwide sales will pick up again this summer.

“The market had a bit of a slow start in the fall, but Realtors all over the country have been telling me that April was a nice rebound,” Smaby said in a news release accompanying the NAR report. “We’re hopeful and expect that this will continue heading into the summer.”

Until last month, Florida was also experiencing some softness in its home market. Total sales were down in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. However, April’s gains put the state back into the black for the year so far, according to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor.

“April was easily the strongest month we’ve seen so far this year for home sales in the Sunshine State,” O’Connor said. “Prior to April, single-family closed sales for 2019 were actually down year-over-year, but with April’s little surge (up 6.2 percent), sales in 2019 are now up by 1 percent compared to where we were through the first four months of 2018.”

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